On 25-28 June 2016, a group of SMSI students undertook a local medical mission to conduct health screenings among the migrant worker community in Singapore. The project was organized with the help of HealthServe, a Singaporean NGO.
The first day of the project was held in a migrant worker dormitory in Mandai. Students measured the blood pressure of over a hundred patients in less than 2h. Those at risk of developing hypertension were given health advice by older students, and those flagged as hypertensive were referred to the volunteer doctor manning the HealthServe Clinic on-site.
On the second day, SMSI and HealthServe linked up with Temasek Polytechnic to conduct a health screening for the community in Kampong Kapor as part of the Kapor Chatparty by the Octopus Residency. The blood pressure, BMI, body fat percentage and random blood glucose of patients were measured and SMSI provided free health advice and consultation based on the readings.
The final two days of the project focused more on understanding the lives of migrant workers in Singapore. SMSI visited HealthServe's Training Centre in Tai Seng, where they got to interact with workers who frequented the Centre for English and IT classes. Simultaneously, a small group of students worked to consolidate and analyze the data from the health screenings conducted in Mandai and Kampong Kapor.
To conclude the local medical mission on the final day, students joined migrant workers for dinner at HealthServe's daily food programme. They were also brought on a Geylang Walk where injured workers gave insight into the renowned area, from their perspective.
All in all it was a great learning experience for everyone. Students got to practice some clinical skills and bedside manner, but more importantly were exposed to the issues that one of Singapore's hidden communities face on a regular basis.
SMSI would like to thank HealthServe for helping to facilitate this inaugural local medical mission.
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